Thinking Outside the Box

December 8, 2010 at 9:05 pm

It’s hard to pick up a newspaper nowadays without reading about Canada’s changing demographics and the demands this will place on our health care system. The Global Health Forum has identified chronic disease as the second biggest threat to the global economy.

The current approach to health care delivery is under almost continuous stress to meet the needs of an aging community. I believe the only way to move forward –and meet future health care challenges- is through innovation. Innovation provides that fundamental paradigm shift that can create significant change and gains in productivity and efficiency. In 2008, alumnus Dr. George Yee and his wife Fay generously donated $2.5 Million to the University of Manitoba to create the George & Fay Yee Centre for Healthcare Innovation (CHI) with this vision in mind.

The George & Fay Yee Centre for Healthcare Innovation has four themes at its core:
Knowledge Synthesis to integrate medical research and knowledge with links to national KS program;
Knowledge Translation (KT) to narrow the gap between what we know and what we practice with links to KT Canada;
System engineering, which the CHI is already doing well, to create efficient changes in system design such as improved access to the sleep laboratory or the pediatric operating room; and
Measurables to track how well we are doing. Working in partnership with programs like Manitoba Centre for Health Policy, we plan to create a robust system that will provide timely and meaningful data to guide us.

Inter-professional education (IPE) is also key. Our state-of-the-art Clinical Learning & Simulation Faciltiy provides IPE learning and innovative training for students and staff.

The CHI can also become the platform for high-quality, patient-oriented research such as being conducted by Dr. James Blanchard, Director, Centre for Global Public Health, who has become internationally known for his innovative approach to gobal health issues using an innovative strategy of program science.

However, to achieve our goals, we need strong and effective leadership. In 2011, we will offer training opportunities to create a new generation of academic health leaders to ensure that innovation happens and that the system adapts and changes with it.

Save the date: The George and Fay Yee Centre for Healthcare Innovation Conference is scheduled for April 18 and 19, 2011 in Winnipeg and will feature internationally reknowned speakers and some local examples of innovation.

What kind of innovations would you like to see?